Uber Driver Referrals: How They Work and How to Use Them

This post is part of our Uber Driver Training Mini-Series, designed to help drivers get through the application process, and earn more once on the road. This post will dive into how drivers can use Uber driver referrals to make more money aside from driving.

Earn More with Uber Driver Referrals

A little-known secret among rideshare drivers is that Uber will pay you to refer other people who go on to become drivers.

Many Uber drivers supplement their income with driver referrals.  In fact, some experienced drivers focus exclusively on recruiting new drivers and passengers to the Uber platform, and don’t even drive any more.

The opportunities to recruit new drivers are endless. Many times while driving, your passengers they will start asking you questions about driving for Uber.  This is a great opportunity for you to refer them. You have a captive audience for the duration of the ride, so all you need to do is incorporate a few simple strategies into your daily Uber driving to capitalize on this.

How does the Uber driver referral program work?

Uber knows that drivers are a great source of referrals, and they make every effort to tap into their huge base.  When a driver is approved, Uber gives each one a special invite code.

This code is good towards new drivers signing up for the platform, and ensures the new driver is able to get a new driver bonus. It also assures that you get paid for referring them if they complete the signup process, and a certain number of rides.

Here is what the Uber driver signup form looks like. Notice the box for “invite code.”

uber driver referral code

Once a driver fills out the form and fills in the invite code they will see what new driver sign on bonus they qualify for.  If they do not enter an invite code, then they will miss out on getting a new driver sign up bonus!

If you know someone asking about driving for Uber, you want to let them know that they need an invite code in order to get the bonus. OR they need to click on a link like our “drive for Uber” link which automatically includes our referral code.  Most people don’t know they need a referral code, so simply letting them know this is a great way to get referrals.

When your friend enters their invite code, Uber will notify you with both a text message and an email to let you know that your friend has signed up.

My friend signed up using my Uber driver referral code. When do I get paid?

This is a common misunderstanding.  Just because your friend filled out the form on the website and used your code, doesn’t mean you get paid.  That would open Uber up to a lot of fraud and a lot of people would create fake accounts to get paid bonuses.

Uber goes to pretty great lengths to put security measures in place so that all drivers need to complete few steps before they get paid their new driver sign up bonus.

  • Step 1. They complete the application process.
  • Step 2. They get approved to drive.
  • Step 3. They complete a minimum number of rides with passengers.
  • Step 4. You and your driver friend get paid your bonuses.

How do I know what step in the referral process my friend is on?

The Uber Partner website has a place for you to track your driver referrals.  You can see their names, their city, what bonus you qualify for, and what step they are on in the process.

It looks like this:

track uber invites

Uber will notify you about the progress of the referring driver at various steps in the process:

  • They will notify you when a new driver signs up using your code
  • They will notify you when your driver is approved to begin driving
  • They will notify you that your driver completed their rides and your bonus is to be paid

In the meantime, Uber won’t give you any information.  If your driver signs up but isn’t approved, they won’t tell you.  Uber considers this information confidential. You will need to reach out to your referrals to see if they have questions or need help with the signup process.

A few tips to earn more with Uber driver referrals:

To earn more with Uber driver referrals, you’ll want to find creative ways to spread your Uber referral code to new prospective drivers.

Many drivers prefer to make their own Uber referral cards. They don’t like the marketing on the Uber cards and feel they can do better on their own. A good example is a sign, similar to our free Uber tipping sign, that displays basic information and a link to the signup page.

You may not be a creative or marketing type, and that’s OK! If you become friends with other drivers ask if they have cards they have created. You may find someone who is willing to share a card design that is more effective than the generic ones Uber provides.

When passengers ask you questions about driving this is a great opportunity for a potential referral.  You will frequently get asked questions like “How do you like driving?”  When they ask these questions they are potentially interested in becoming a driver.  You may even find someone tells you they are thinking about becoming a driver.  Now is your opportunity to give them your card with your referral code on it.  You might even offer them your cell number or email in case they have questions about signing up.  If you’re earning up to $400 for a referral it is definitely worth it!

Also note that the Uber driver referrals page has the opportunity to “remind” them.  This is an email reminder to your driver referrals. If you click the link it should open in an email program with a little default text. Make sure to leave them a personal note. Let them know you’re willing to help answer their questions.

The top Uber driver referral partners go the extra mile to help their drivers get started. As you can see from the screenshot I posted earlier a lot of drivers never complete the application process.  If they have someone to ask questions and help them out more of them will complete the process.

You can also refer people that are not local.  Uber is an international company and you can get paid for referring drivers anywhere.  You can send messages from the app to your friends.  The app will send them a text message with your link to drive inside.

On the Uber partner web site you also have the opportunity the invite friends to drive for Uber. There are links to send messages out on Facebook and Twitter. There is a link to invite friends with Gmail.  There is also a form on the bottom of the page to invite any of your friends via email. As long as you have their email address you can invite them to drive.  They will get a link with your referral code embedded. All they have to do is click the link to join and it will pass in your invite code.

Street Team:

I can’t mention Uber driver referrals without street teaming!

A street team is a grassroots marketing effort. Usually a few drivers get together and go to public events like concerts, conferences, sporting events, and parades. Basically anywhere that a lot of people are gathered.  They dress lively. They wear Uber trade gear. They have a lot of business cards, flyers, etc. to hand out.  Anywhere there will be a lot of people they go out street teaming.

Usually street teaming is geared towards recruiting passengers but you will occasionally find people that are interested in driving as well. You could even target events like job fairs or small/home business expos where you know the people are looking to make extra money.  The bonus codes for passengers and drivers are the same.  Anyone who has your code can use it to sign up as a passenger, as a driver, or both!

Street teaming can be done on your own but it is always best to do it in a group. It is safer for you but also gives the event more energy and excitement. Plus, you can learn from more experienced drivers.  Connect with other local drivers on Facebook, UberPeople, or SherpaShare.  Network and find some other drivers to street team with.

A great example of a solid street team is PromoAffiliates, which we covered in this post. This company is SO good at referring new riders and drivers that they’ve been covered in huge publications like Forbes. Check out their work to get some good ideas and inspiration.


As you can see, drivers can earn more with Uber driver referrals, and the bonuses are definitely still in full swing.

The process of inviting people to drive for Uber is pretty easy.  However, getting your referrals through the process is the hard part.  Use the tracking tools and the reminders we mentioned to help ensure more of your referrals complete the process.  The top referral partners take extra time to help their referrals get started as a driver.

Finally, make friends with other drivers. You may find that some of them are specialists in getting referrals.  You may want to duplicate some of these strategies these professional referral partners use.  Obviously you don’t want to copy their work without permission, but you can get a lot of wonderful ideas.  They may even give you permission to use their specialized designs for maximizing referrals.